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Is 80 Flatbush project a precursor for Site 5 project down the block?

For The Bridge, I just wrote Inside the Battle over the Megaproject at 80 Flatbush, reporting on the public hearing March 28, held as part of the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), regarding the giant two-tower 80 Flatbush proposed development.

Besides ventilating some of the arguments at the public hearing held by Brooklyn Community Board 2, the article also delves into the project's murky financials--what are the sources and uses for the public benefits--as well as the notion that the project's overstuffed nature relates to the failures of the 2004 Downtown Brooklyn rezoning to bring schools or affordable housing.

Note that 80 Flatbush, on a site located just a block and a half north of Atlantic Avenue, is not far from the Barclays Center and even closer to Site 5, currently home to P.C. Richard and Modell's.

The Site 5 precursor?

It's unusual for projects in ULURP to be completely derailed, so 80 Flatbush does seem to have momentum. That said, when it gets to the City Planning Commission and City Council, it may face headwinds--small, or significant, who knows--and thus be changed.

For Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park watchers, and surely the project developer, the fate of 80 Flatbush will serve as a cue regarding plans for Site 5.

That location--dubbed Site 5 because of its location within the Atlantic Terminal Urban Renewal Area (ATURA)--has also been suggested for a giant two-tower project, involving a shift of bulk from the unbuilt Miss Brooklyn tower once scheduled to loom over the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, now home to the arena plaza. The taller tower could rise 785 feet, according to plans shared in 2016.

That Site 5 plan is percolating, though it hasn't moved forward. It requires not city approval, but a revision of the state's General Project Plan, which requires public hearings and a vote by Empire State Development. Such approval is virtually guaranteed.

The reason I (and others) have assumed is that a lawsuit by P.C. Richard remains pending. But presumably that can be resolved with a negotiated payment.

In a sense, though, delay may be helpful to Greenland Forest City Partners. What might seem as a joltingly large project--especially in contrast to row-house neighbors on the south side of Pacific Street--might seem more acceptable, at least to some in power, if the 80 Flatbush project, even if scaled down, is approved later this year by the City Council.

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